Friday, August 17, 2007

Don't Ever Get Caught

Don't Ever Get Caught
an inspirational tale

In ancient India, gurukuls were the learning centers where students stayed for years until they graduated. Unlike modern institutions, the students of a gurukul would pay their fees only at graduation time and it was called Guru Daxina. At one such gurukul, at end of the course, the teacher gathered all his students and spoke to them. "Students, I have taught you all I could. Now I want my Guru Daxina."

The rich among his students offered to pay money and gold, but the teacher declined. He said, "My dear students, you have learnt the sixty-four arts here. Thievery is one amongst them. I want you to practice it and steal something for me. But remember this, the guru daxina must be stolen. You are not allowed to earn, beg or borrow the amount for my daxina. You must steal it. The second condition is that nobody should see you while you are stealing. See you back here in seven days."

On the seventh day, all the students returned with their guru daxina. Some had brought gold coins, jewelry, expensive items et cetera, all stolen from their own homes or from elsewhere.

But one student hadn’t brought anything. The teacher asked him the reason, “Didn’t I teach you the art of thievery? Why have you returned empty handed?”

The student replied, “Sir, I could steal anything I wanted. But you said nobody should see me while doing that. Well, I MYSELF was always there, seeing myself whenever I attempted to steal. So I could not meet your second condition. Forgive me please.”

Needless to say, the student was the only one who had paid the guru daxina his teacher really wanted.

Freebie Freedom

it is that time of year again, to take a break
from pilfering, politicking and tax evasion
as from our beauty sleep we wake
the plastic people of a neon nation

neon nation is lit like a Christmas tree
its glory shines across a global sky
to suffer and die in dark they are free
the meek ones who never ask why

never ask why we hoist flaccid flags
and what the celebrations are about
the culture story may be riches to rags
but we have now big economic clout

economic clout and the digital glory
have taught us a new kind of wisdom
who needs to remember the struggle story
let us wallow in our freebie freedom

freebie freedom, for we know not the cost
under the lights though shadows remain
in those dark voids don't you get lost
come on pals, it is that time of year again

(c) Rajendra Pradhan
15th August 2007